In Chad, local elections were held on 22 January. They were the first local elections in the 50-year history of the country.
A total of 42 (or 43) municipal councils were to be elected. According to Tchadactuel, the ruling party, the Mouvement patriotique pour le salut (MPS), was facing a united opposition list under the heading of the Coordination des partis politiques pour la défense de la constitution (CPDC) in 32 of the 42 contests. The counting has taken some time. However, Jeune Afrique is now reporting the first results.
Unsurprisingly, the MPS is the main party, winning 12 of the 43 councils, including 6 of the 10 arrondissements in the capital, N’Djamena. In addition, it won a number of other contests in alliance with client parties. Moreover, CPDC did not win any contests. That said, the report identifies opposition victories in a number of significant towns.
Previously, local authorities were appointed by the president.
In Chad, President Idriss Déby was inaugurated for his fourth consecutive term in office last week.
In conformity with the constitution, the prime minister, Emmanuel Nadingar, tendered his resignation. President Déby has just reappointed PM Nadingar to his position.
RNW via AFP is reporting that the previous government included ministers from the opposition. This was seen as a sign of conciliation in a system that is dominated by President Déby’s MPS party. However, two of those ministers have since passed away. Therefore, there is a question as to whether President Déby will continue this policy or whether, given the MPS won a big victory at the legislative and presidential election this year, the government will be more MPS-oriented.
If I have further information, then I will update this post.
In Chad the presidential election was held on 25 April. The Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI) has now made the result available here. This is the result.
Idriss Déby, 2,504,069 votes, 88.66%
Pahimi Padaket Albert, 170,188 votes, 6.03%
Me Nadji Madou de l’Alliance, 150,226 votes, 5.32%
So, President Idriss Déby has been re-elected. This is hardly a surprise because the main opposition parties boycotted the election, following what they claim were unfair legislative elections in February. Interestingly, the turnout rate is reported at 64.22%, which I would consider to be quite low. In the CENI report, it is also clear that the boycott was followed more assiduously in some areas than others. So, the participation rate was as low as 39-40% in a small number of districts and was just over 50% in a couple of districts.
In Chad legislative elections were held on 12-13 February. The Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI) made some details of the results available on Sunday.
There were 188 seats in competition. I am not sure how the electoral system works, but the government website reports that these seats were spread over 71 constituencies. The turnout was 56.6%, though there are reports of some irregularities, including a return of more than 100% of the electorate in some constituencies. So, the turnout figure must be approximate.
The ruling party is President Idriss Déby’s Patriotic Salvation Movement (Mouvement Patriotique du Salut – MPS). The reports indicate that the MPS and its allied parties, including the Rally for Democracy and Progress (Rassemblement pour la démocratie et le progrès – RDP) and the National Rally for Development and Progress (Rassemblement national pour le développement et le progrès – VIVA-RNDP), has won 133 seats in total and there is a separate report suggesting that the MPS has won 117 of these seats. The report also indicates that the opposition National Union for Democracy and Renewal (Union nationale pour la démocratie et le renouveau – UNDR) has won 11 seats. The opposition Union for Renewal and Democracy (Union pour le renouveau et la démocratie – URD) is also reported to have won some seats. (In a separate report, the leader of the URD is quoted as saying that the party won 7 seats). The CENI reports that a total of 16 parties won at least one seat.
There is an EU electoral observation report available in French here. Basically, the report says that the elections were an important step forward and welcomes the fact that they occurred peacefully, but notes that there were also serious procedural flaws.
It is really difficult to follow anything that goes on in Chad. However, there is news of a change of prime minister.
Jeune Afrique reports that on Friday 8 March Prime Minister Youssouf Saleh Abbas resigned as prime minister. He had been appointed in April 2008. (See previous post). He has been replaced by Emmanuel Nadingar, who was previously the Minister for Petrol, a key position in the government.
No reasons for M. Saleh Abbas’ resignation have officially been given. However, there are reports of tensions between Saleh Abbas and President Idriss Déby and an expectation that the PM would resign for a few weeks. However, no details about the nature of the tensions have been provided.
Hot on the heels of yesterday’s posting is news of a new government in Chad.
On 16 April President Idriss Déby appointed Youssouf Saleh Abbas as prime minister. Prime Minister Abbas is a member of the ruling MPS party and is a diplomat by profession. The interesting feature of his government, which was announced on 23 April, is that four members of the main opposition coalition, the CPDC, have been offered and have taken positions in the government. This marks a step change in Chad.
Semi-presidentialism in Chad dates back to the constitution of 1996. This was preceded by a national conference that did include representatives of civil society. However, since 1996 the country has been dominated by President Déby’s party, though there have been negotiations with the opposition at different times.
Only a couple of months ago President Déby was nearly ousted from power by an armed rebellion. The appointment of opposition figures to the government has been taken as a sign of reconciliation. However, the situation remains extremely difficult, not least because one of the main figures of the CPDC ‘disappeared’ in February and there has been no news of him since. According to Le Monde, Prime Minister Abbas has promised to do his best to “shed light” on the issue.